The Big Picture- Five Point Agenda of India for Talks with Pak: Will It Cut Ice?
Ever since the Prime Minister of India has made a reference to Balochistan and PoK in his Independence Day speech, the idea that India might use the ethnic-nationalist insurgency in Balochistan in a tit-for-tat campaign against Pakistan’s proxy war in Kashmir has been a distinct possibility. Therefore, the same day, Pakistan sent a proposal for bilateral talks at Foreign Secretary level. But this time, India has hardened its stance and has given a five point agenda for talks to proceed.
What is the Five Point Agenda?
- Cessation of cross border terrorism by Pakistan aimed at Jammu and Kashmir.
- Ending incitement to violenceand terrorism from Pakistan.
- Detaining and prosecuting internationally recognized Pakistani terrorist leaders.
- Closing down of Pakistani terrorist campsin Pak Occupied Kashmir.
- Denying safe haven to terrorists in Pakistan who have escaped Indian law and seek justice for Pathankot airbase attack in 2015 and Mumbai attacks of 2008.
For far too long focus has been on the territories which are a part of India but this time it has been clearly mentioned by the Indian Foreign Secretary that India also wants earliest possible vacation of Pakistan Occupied Territory which is something that should have been done ages ago and sought a briefing from its Pakistani counterpart.
It is also being said that the proposal for bilateral talk is nothing but propaganda of Pakistan to promote its political views in Jammu and Kashmir after Burhan Vani’s killing. Pakistan’s strategy has been to put pressure on India and then give an option to talk but in last few years India has firmly stood on the fact that until and unless Pakistan digests the above mentioned points, there won’t be any talks.
There has also been mention of ceasefire violations across the Line of Control in 1999 and Pakistan has time and again sent armed raiders to Jammu and Kashmir in 1947 and 1965. This aspect of Pakistan is well known to the whole world because there are tensions not only on its border with India but with Afghanistan as well.
The framework for interactions between India and Pakistan is stipulated by the Simla Agreement of July 1972. President Z.A. Bhutto agreed that the two countries resolve to settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations. Even in the Lahore Declaration of February 1999, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reiterated Pakistan’s determination to implement the Simla Agreement in letter and spirit. But all these seem to have no effect on relations of these two nations.
As far as India’s strategy is concerned, it has neither rejected the proposals for talks nor have subsided with its demands. This way it has been quite diplomatic in responding to a nation which alleged that the Indian Prime Minister crossed the red line by mentioning Balochistan though Pakistan itself has never recognized its own so called red line while promoting terrorism. There is a need to needle Pakistan’s behaviour and Ministry of External Affairs has done that wisely enough by being partly straightforward and partly diplomatic in its attitude. Both sides need to tone down on the statements they make to make any talk successful.